Abandoned supermarket trolley
It makes me feel strangely warm and good inside when I see a solitary abandoned trolley spent and listless in a street, for reasons I don't understand. I feel even better when I spot one dumped into a canal with the carp under the moon, their natural habitat. I feel a weird glee. From the glare of the sanitary light in the aisle of a supermarket where people grab at things to impregnate it with their life, back to the beautiful emptyness of the dead-end streets of suburbia and lives unlived
Bringing it to life
Noticing something tiny can bring it to life — jump it alive. Puppeteering a flower, a blade of grass or the shadow of a leaf in the wind with your eyes and heart. The possibility of finding an entire universe within it. That true magic really exists. Which is why I find it weird when people invest in the big things: big tvs, big houses, big dumb box-ticking their way safely through life — no gamble; that they've somehow lost courage; somehow lost the will to live
We all become 'characters' the older we get, I think. Like crumpled shirts. Un-ironed out by life. Ripped, stained, demented. The collar long ago lost the plastic things inside it to keep it hard and straight. Now like weary bashed butterfly wings.
I would pick up rubbish on the street as a kid and think that these objects were clues tied to some bigger mystery. Today I saw a clue drift past in the sky
4am, driving down the freeway in the rain
I felt there was something special and beautiful in the darkness, in the middle of the night. Not a 'horror' or a 'bewitching hour'. Just a strange world. People asleep at maximum REM. Not much synapse activity, analysis or thinking as everyone dreamt along to their own tune. You could actually feel the calmness of non-thinking across the land, the non-energy of human brain activity in the psychosphere – the electricity of thousands of brains shut-down as the storm calmly flashed in front of me
The magic in reality — clues so far:
Repeat your name over and over and it doesn't make sense.
Being able to hear your name across a noisy crowded room.
Some people don't look like their names.
Being able to see things in the dark by not looking at them directly.
The 5th dimensional ring of a wine glass.
Walking down an old path brings back a conversation you had in exactly the same location years ago.
Two people you know — who don't know one another — message you at the same time, almost every time.
Your handwriting looks exactly like your father's.
The unfamiliar noises of a new home while lying in the dark.
Revisiting a childhood park destroys the memory and paves over it with the newer, boring adult memory.
When you chase something you can't have it.
You don't know what you truly think until you cast it out loud, like trying on new clothes in front of a mirror.
The words 'hat' and 'pant' are funny for no reason at all.
Closing your eyes doesn't make you invisible.
You can have sex with someone just by looking into their eyes.
Trees are angels in a world of evil.
There's an old game I'd play as a kid: close my eyes and count how many steps I could walk forward without opening them. Sometimes I'd get to 10 steps, or even 50 before hitting a pole or tripping over the gutter. Playing this game now feels like a life — each step a year lived — 38, 39, 40… And with each blind step into the darkness, the initial anchoring and orientating scene of light emblazoned on the back of my eyelids becomes an increasingly unreliable bearing. Each step more difficult, precarious and strangely dizzying. That once iridescent image rapidly fading as I move blindly into the disorientating unknown, worry and caution escalating. Sleepwalking. That faint picture of childhood vanishing.
Suburban football match
The authentic way to experience a suburban football match is not to attend from a four-door Sedan by the boundary fence with sauce, pie and a sneaky Peter Jackson. Instead you spectate from miles away, without disturbing it. Unseen. The Sound Of A Distant Suburban Football Match. 36 players in the palm of my head. The faint trill of whistle connected to the centre of my brain by thin thread. Muffled cheers. The tissue-paper whistle again, a cageless, strange bird in constant distress. Then the dim siren. Score unknown. Woodfire smoke from somewhere; a dog's wasted bark across the land; the brittle ephemera of Football lost on the grey sky. I sit goalless by the tracks — a magpie perched on the electrical train wires above me. Then I glance up again and it's gone
Darby Hudson has been published in Eureka Street and Black Inc's Best Australian Poems, 2012 and 2013.